Social Business Strategists: Social Media vs. Enterprise 2.0

November 15th, 2010 by Gia Lyons Leave a reply »

In Community Managers Part 1: Definitions, I shared my observations about the different types of community managers – those primarily focused on executing ongoing practices – but didn’t spend too much time on the Program Roles – those focused primarily on executing proactive programs. (Also, my apologies. My schedule won’t accommodate an in-depth study of community manager backgrounds, which would have been Part 2.)

There is a third role which perhaps sits above these, called the Strategist.

In reading Altimeter Group’s The Two Career Paths of the Corporate Social Strategist. Be Proactive or Become ‘Social Media Help Desk’, I’m struck by the many similarities between the Corporate Social (Media) Strategist:

Definition: The Corporate Social Strategist is the business decision maker for social media programs – who provides leadership, roadmap definition, and governance; and directly influences the spending on technology vendors and service agencies.

and the Enterprise 2.0 Strategist, who is primarily focused on strategies for enabling employees and contractors to get work done better, faster, smarter – i.e., Organizational Effectiveness – through the use of social business behavior, processes, and technology.

The three similarities that strike me most are the challenges they face, what makes them successful at their job, and their job responsibilities. The following data from Altimeter’s report could just as easily describe the Enterprise 2.0 Strategist:

Challenges They Face

Social Strategists are plagued with a variety of challenges. We uncovered six: 1) Resistance from internal culture, 2) Measuring ROI, 3) Lack of resources, 4) An ever-changing technology space, 5) Resentment and envy of the role, and 6) A looming increase in business demands.

What Makes Them Successful

What Makes Social Strategists Successful at Their Job

Job Responsibilities

[Social Strategists] act more like program managers and resources for the whole corporation. These decision makers have a wide range of responsibilities, some not as glamorous as their public social media personas may suggest. In fact, many of these duties are similar to those of program managers in any business unit.

One major difference, though, is that the Enterprise 2.0 Strategist/program manager doesn’t seem to have a discrete budget or overall decision-making power. Instead, they must work with a governing steering committee made up of multiple executive sponsors and senior advisors from all over the organization, including IT, Legal, Corporate Communications, Marketing, and HR. They are a role without a well-defined home.

I’m currently working with a few large clients who are taking on both social media and enterprise 2.0 projects as parts of a greater social business endeavor, and I’m looking forward to better understanding how their Corporate Social Strategists (from Marketing) and their Enterprise 2.0 Strategists (one is from Corporate Communications, another client’s E2.0 strategist is from Corporate IT) work together as they implement socially re-engineered business processes that span multiple business units (intranet), a specific group of business customers (extranet), and the entire social Web.



  1. I look forward to hearing successes and failures of the last paragraph so we all can learn and grow. One thing I would like to add is most companies need to have the Enterprise2.0 and the Corporate Social Media Strategists in the same department period! That might mean some very big changes for some organizations. The internal and external need to start working together better to maximize success. This does not mean meeting monthly or quarterly for a 2 hours to catchup. This means sitting and working with each other on the daily basis.

    The other big thing they have to pick, because I think they both fall victim to this, is this a push & pull environment or just a push? I see if the external is a push with very little pull or 2 way engagement, the internal follows suit with push coming from the top with very little coming in forms of 2-way conversation from the bottom.

    What companies need to do is form a Social Business Group and make them report solid line to the Executive level of the Enterprise and dotted line to all the silo’d leaders. Then work can be enterprise to local forming much better 2-way engagement, content sharing, and much better business initiative implementation.

    You truly have to flatten out the organization to really gain return on investing in the path, people and technologies.

    Thanks Gia always like following your information!

  2. Gia Lyons says:

    Preach it, Keith! BTW, I’ve introduced a friend of mine to our mutual friend, who has successfully implemented processes that touch multiple business units internally, to engage in the social Web (using Jive internally, in their extranet, and to engage social Web). She’s going to be blogging about them soon in the Jive Business Community

  3. David Stephens says:

    Thank you Gia. Always good analysis.

  4. Hi Keith, i couldn’t agree more. I made the decision at Nokia recently to bring these areas closer together and merge the teams who were managing the Enterprise 2.0 and Social Media projects at Nokia. Physically getting them to sit and work together on projects. Already we are seeing some incredible results and better connected thinking on internal collaboration and social engagement. Now working on a company wide “socializer” framework to connect up our employees and consumers through social dashboards and real time insights. Will share our results and strategy when ready to be opened up.



  5. Gia Lyons says:

    Craig, can you comment with a link to where you’ll share your results? I’d be happy to promote it when it’s ready.

    • Hi Gia, Absolutely happy to share once we have formalised the strategy, the first step as i mentioned was to bring the key people looking after internal collaboration platforms closer to the team looking after consumer social engagement in order to join up thinking. Next steps are to provide the framework that will Automate, Simplify, Connect, Make Actionable, Make Measurable, Generate Results.

      Very exciting times ahead…after all Nokia is all about “Connecting People” 😉

  6. Gia Lyons says:

    Great! Just heard from Marcia Conner (@marciamarcia) at Altimeter Group – Jeremiah’s counterpart focused on Enterprise Collaboration – that producing a similar research report for Enterprise 2.0 is on her radar.

  7. Tim says:

    In my mind Social Media is the use of tools like Facebook and Twitter to engage with customers and potential customers and Enterprise 2.0 is the use of the same functions within those tools to engage with the staff within a company. The skills and strategies are almost the same with the exception of PR/marketing. If your running the social media for your company you should have a background in marketing. If your running enterprise 2.0 marketing is not an important skill.